Meditating with Emotions

These words of wisdom from Pema Chodron teach us about meditating with emotions from her book, How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind. Read this quote and then see what Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh (known as Thay by his followers) has to say about meditating with emotions.

Get Dirty with Your Emotions

You have to get dirty with your emotions. Meditation allows us to feel them, live them, and taste them completely. It gives us a lot of insight into why we do the things we do and why other people do the things they do. Out of this insight, compassion is born. This insight also begins to open the doorway to buddhanature and the complete, open spaciousness that’s available when we’re not blocking our feelings. Once I was able to allow myself to have a felt sense of my emotions, it was completely liberating.

– Pema Chödrön, “Meditating with Emotions” from

How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind

Pema Chodron

What Pema teaches is basically the same as what Thay teaches. Most often, I have heard him speak about embracing anger and I’ve created an entire Anger Control Guided Meditation to help you embrace your anger. To embrace your anger, you treat it like a little five year old child, and you say to it in a calm, clear voice, “Hello my dear anger. I know you are there and I am here for you.” Now watch how your anger dissipates because, like all things, anger is impermanent.

Thay has taught,

Mindfulness does not fight anger or despair. Mindfulness is there in order to recognize. To be mindful of something is to recognize that something is there in the present moment. Mindfulness is the capacity of being aware of what is going on in the present moment. “Breathing in, I know that anger has manifested in me; breathing out, I smile towards my anger.” This is not an act of suppression or of fighting. It is an act of recognizing. Once we recognize our anger, we embrace it with a lot of awareness, a lot of tenderness.

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh from Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames

I would say that this meditation practice of dealing with anger could be applied to any emotion that happens to pass through as a cloud in your sky of awareness. Embracing emotions with the intention of internalizing them and not letting them get the best of you is a good practice.

How do you deal with emotions? Please explain and let’s find out what your process is.

Anger Control Guilded Meditation

Books by Pema Chodron

How to Meditate: A Practical Guide to Making Friends with Your Mind

Pema Chödrön

***How to Meditate Has Been Named One of Library Journal’s Best Books of 2013***<?xml:namespace prefix = “o” ns = “urn:schemas-micro… [Read More…]

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